Even though Cardo has made plenty of good quality Bluetooth headsets, it doesn't really have a foothold with stereo Bluetooth, a Bluetooth profile that lets you stream music wirelessly from one device to another. Thankfully, the company has rectified that with its first-ever stereo Bluetooth headset, called the Cardo S-2. This simple behind-the-neck headset is comfortable and easy to use, and it offers a great way to listen to your music wirelessly. It's also remarkably affordable at $89.99.
At first glance, the Cardo S-2 looks like a regular behind-the-neck pair of headphones. Look closer and you'll find a hinge above each earpiece, which lets the headset fold down into a more compact shape. Connecting the two earpieces is a sturdy rubberized band, which can stretch out to accommodate most head sizes. The entire device is pretty light (about 2 ounces), so we could wear it for long periods of time, which is perfect for daily commuting. The 2-inch-wide earpieces fit nicely on top of our ears, and we especially liked the cushioning of the earpiece foam covers. There are also rubberized grips above each earpiece for a more secure fit. We liked that there is good spacing between the grips and the earpieces, allowing plenty of room for spectacles or sunglasses.
All of the Cardo S-2's controls are located on the right earpiece. The multifunction button and the Play/Pause button are in the middle of the earpiece, while the surrounding circle can be slid to the front for track forward and to the back for track backward. Toward the back of the earpiece is the volume rocker, and the hold switch is on the bottom. The charger jack is located right next to the hold switch. There's also a LED underneath the Play/Pause button that lights up when the headset is activated. The Play/Pause button is large and easy to press, while the multifunction and volume keys have large bumps on them, making them easy to press as well. The track forward/track backward sliding mechanism is easy to use as well.
We successfully paired the Cardo S-2 with the LG Muziq (LG 570). Pairing went very smoothly, and we could answer and make calls very easily with the S-2. Incoming call quality was excellent; voices sounded natural, with little static. Outgoing call quality was also pretty decent, but callers did report some noise in the background when we called from a restaurant setting. Since the Cardo S-2 is a stereo headset, we tested it with music from the LG Muziq as well. We absolutely loved the sound quality of the tunes--the songs came through loud and clear, with great volume and bass effects.
The Cardo S-2 has other features as well. It supports voice dialing, last-number redial, and call transfers from the phone to the headset and vice versa. The S-2 also has a low-battery indicator. The Cardo S-2 has a rated talk/music playback time of 8 hours, and a rated standby time of 10 days.